Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

I’m using that quote as the post title because impedence studies (formerly known as pH probe tests) are a relic left over from the Spanish Inquisition…ugh, ugh, and more ugh. Seriously, never again. I’m going to be 30 soon, and I have had it with this test, so I say no more! I am asserting my patient rights!

I’m kidding. Sort of.

Here’s the deal.

So I was cardioverted in the CTICU (again) then moved to C5 (again) where I needed five doses of a med (again) and then I’d be set free (again). (My life is disturbingly Groundhog Day-ish.) But while I was on C5, Dr. K said, “hey, why don’t we see if they can do your impedence study while you’re here!”

An impedence study is a test that measures the amount of acid reflux/GERD in your stomach using a pH probe—basically a plastic-sheathed strip of copper that’s inserted up your nose, down your throat, and into your stomach. While you’re awake. And unsedated (See, “Inquistion, Spanish”, above) The first time I had one of these, I was 15, and it was awful. 15 years later (almost) it’s still awful. There are a few things I’d rather do less that have this done, especially since it just returns results we already have; as in, “Yes, Emily has a highly-acidic stomach, just like her sister, her mother, and her grandfather.” Go genetics. Now since GERD can affect the lungs, the reason we were doing it was to see if it’s gotten worse. I don’t think that’s possible, but I guess we can try.

So…we did it. You’re supposed to “eat normally” while this is in. Ha. Ha. Hahahahaha. Very funny. I ate a lot of ice cream and drank a lot of milk to make my throat happy. Swallowing pills was well-nigh impossible. I did manage to get some food down, although I  most definitely did NOT use all my WW points for the day. (Not that this is a bad thing.)

What really makes this fun is that someone needs to watch you while you sleep, so things like coughing, etc. can be marked. These things are indicative of more GERD, so they need to be observed.

So around 11 pm, a man, dressed like a parent, walks into my room. I am in a tank top and hospital scrub pants (highly, highly attractive, I assure you). I don’t know this guy from Adam, and he does not look at all health-care professional-y.

My nurse follows him in and explains that said man is going to be sitting with me. All night. Watching me sleep. Since I had to explain the test, the paperwork, and the monitor to the guy, I wasn’t very confident in the results I was going to be getting. Plus, since I had been manning the monitor all day, I wasn’t sure why I needed some stranger watching me sleep. Particularly a male stranger. I’m sorry, but I am a girl. An old-fashioned, unmarried one, who didn’t want some strange guy sitting (and I am not kidding) less than two feet away from her! All night!

But I had no say in the matter, bien sur! So I just had to grin and bear it. For the first hour, the guy was playing furniture roulette and moving around the chairs, the rocker and the recliner (and I was supposed to be sleeping, sure!). And when I woke up this morning, I found he had been going through my things! My new books were out of order and strewn around my bed table. What else had he been snooping through?! Plus, he was asleep, which he was not supposed to be!

Fortunately my CPA arrived at 7 and took his place. She was a lot better. The probe was pulled at 11, and I was discharged around 1, in time for work tomorrow and the final (sob!) Thursday Earnest tonight. 

Moral of the story: Never, ever allow someone to do an “impedence study” on you. Run far, far away.

And in heart news: It’s fine. For now. I HOPE! I am really tired of CTICU trips! I should not have a favorite CTICU room! (Really. I shouldn’t. And yet I do.) On the bright side—I got to watch the Puppy Bowl. And read:

  • Clara and Mr. Tiffany (so, so good!), by Susan Vreeland
  • The Memory Palace, by Myra Bartok, and
  • Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, by the Pioneer Woman!

(Highly recommend C&MT. SO GOOD)